Posted in Comedy, Tragedy and What the F...?

What The Morning Brings


IMG_0576When my mother died, I got her china. I only used it once. The teacups were cracked with thin scars, so that the tea seeped through them onto the saucers, leaving dark stains where the tiny fissures had formed.

I kept the teapot and the sugar and creamer, though I lost the lid to the pot during a move. I displayed them on a shelf. The rest of the set, I gave away. The treasure of one generation often winds up as “so much junk” for the next.

It’s not that I had fond memories of the china, or that it ever held stories from meals shared. It was not the china from when I was growing up. It was something that she bought later in life, when she was creating her world with flowered and delicate things. The woman always had a sense of longing about her, as though she had missed something along the way, and was trying to catch up to make a life that reflected what was just out of her reach.

We all feel that way sometime—that the thing you are aching to hold is just out of reach. The poignancy of life is contained in small chipped cups and unrealized vision.

This is one of those mornings where I’ve hit a default setting: numbness that comes with a creeping depression. I don’t go to my manuscript. That story will have to wait. Instead I sit in the glowing light of a computer screen, trying to capture the tone of this familiar friend and feeling with words and metaphors that will write me alive and back into the world.

No apologies from the dark waters of thought. No struggle to try to make myself happy. Everything that comes to a writer is a gift. Don’t run from anything. Don’t edit. That’s how Stephen King got to be famous. He wrote his darkness with unabashed and disturbing honesty. Authenticity will set you free.

Besides, no one will care if you couldn’t sleep, or that you tossed and turned, gnashing teeth on a million decisions and indecisions in the middle of the night. But a story that recalls the pain of finding love in a small chipped cup–well, that gives purpose to the day.


Novelist, essayist, blogger, wife, dog-mommy, dancer, dreamer, grateful.

12 thoughts on “What The Morning Brings

      1. Hey Stephanie. It’s been solid. Of course, it started off on a fun foot when I found your upcoming novel intensive in my welcome packet. I shared the message the best I could. Pretty cool. Talk to ya soon!

  1. Oh my goodness!
    Butterflies in my tummy, flapping crazily as I read this story. A story so eerily close to my own heart, anxiety when my sisters told me my budiful Mum had wanted ME to have the 100 year old tea set, handed to her lovingly, caringly, respectfully, and more important trustingly, down through the generations. This meant I now had a responsibility to protect this addition to my family belongings like a lioness with her newly born cub. Do we all have a story to tell about our mother’s beloved china, mine saddens me because my darling Mum trusted me to continue the tradition. I was unable to accept responsibility and handed it over to my elder sister. Sadly I lost that sister recently, the tea set is now safely in the hands of her daughter and when I am long gone it will continue to remain in good hands I have no doubt. I accepted Mum’s beloved bible, with its tattered leather covers from plenty of use during her 77 years. It has been much easier to pack, and far more less stressful in the responsibility stakes.
    I love your stories Stephanie
    Have a grateful day
    Kind Regards from Annie in Australia 🌞 🌴 🌊

  2. “Default setting” . . . this is where I’ve been living for the past two years and why I started writing. To get the emotions out of my overstuffed head and onto the page. To start living again. I enjoyed your thoughts.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read. Good luck with your writing. I totally relate to the “overstuffed” head! (Great image). Sending you all good wishes and good will. . .

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